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on January 1, 2010
This book seems perfect for anyone who hasn't used the internet. After reading through this book, I had to look up the author. I feel hesitant bashing it, because he seems like a nice guy. However, "New New Media" feels like a forced book report about today's internet.

For example, the blogging section talks about how blogs are important today. If this is a surprise to you, then Levinson's 30 pages of generalized explanation is going to be spectacular.

From an "internet guy's" perspective, I just don't get the *point* of this book. Essentially, social media is really important and WAY different than how we used to do things. If you're okay knowing this, don't buy this book. If you don't know what the term "social media" means, read "New New Media" to catch up to 2010.

Or you can be forced to buy it for class. In this case, go used.
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on September 10, 2009
As an experienced media ecologist and communication scholar, Paul Levinson brings to his new work, New New Media, a keen insight into the effects of computer-based communication forms. Levinson documents his encounters with various contemporary forms including blogging, wikis, podcasts and social sites like Facebook and MySpace. Along with a multitude of examples from actual web experience, Levinson compares and contrasts the "new new" media with traditional media and suggests how widespread adoption of these new forms will affect existing social institutions and attitudes.

Levinson sets the phenomenon of blogging in both an historical and a media ecological context. To properly understand what is happening on the web today, it is necessary to understand the way differing media have influenced information transmittal over human history. Thus the nature of blogging is comprehensible if we understand the pluses and minuses of oral, print and mass media communication and the impact the various stages of communication development have had on social mores and cultural and political movements.

Levinson distinguishes the "new new" media from previous forms (including the "old" new media) by the relative ease of entry for non-professional content producers and the absence of gatekeepers. Anyone with a keyboard, a monitor and a web connection can become a movie mogul, a music megastar, a political pundit, an investigative journalist or a widely-read novelist. If Levinson is right, the various internet based media are dramatically altering our notions of professionalism, consumerism, artistry and performance.

Expertly conversant on the mechanics of blogging, Levinson presents not just a scholarly survey, but also a how-to for aspiring bloggers. He discusses individual and group blogging, the influence (or lack thereof) of blogging gatekeepers, and the monetization of blogging content. In comparing blogs to books, Levinson provides an easy reference point to which both Millennials and Baby-boomers can relate.
Blogging's influence on our social institutions is still in the state of becoming. For example, as the traditional print and mass media news outlets decline, the potential of blog-based investigative journalists to fill in the void remains to be seen. Levinson's discussion of bloggers' 1st Amendment rights is on target, and I'm sure would inspire some interesting online discussions.

This very immediacy may be the only shortcoming of Levinson's book. The relevance of many of Levinson's examples, while appropriate for this current edition, may quickly pass out of the public sphere, and therefore out of contextual significance. While we may still be talking about the "Obama Girl" during the next election cycle, other references may not be familiar to readers in 2012. This is both a strength and weakness of Levinson's use of hyper-current examples. The references illustrate his points well, but their possible fleeting nature may be a hindrance in the long term. Things change so fast that each new edition of the book may require significant re-writing, or perhaps a migration from the printed page to a hyper-text online wiki edition. This may be unavoidable given the nature of the topic.

Today's twenty-somethings and younger, members of the so-called "Millennial Generation," inhabit the world depicted by New New Media. They live in a world where texting, tweeting, blogging, Facebook and MySpace and a myriad of other social media are taken for granted and become the tools used for their interactions with their peers and the outside world. As a member of the "Baby Boomer," generation, I found myself continually checking out Levinson's references to these various social media on my computer. Levinson is deeply involved in many actual aspects of the "new new" media and documents this in his book. So I have viewed his blog pages, his tweets, listened to some of his podcasts, etc. Though this may seem to non-millenials as an introduction to a disorienting brave new world, Levinson's down-to-earth discussion of the "new new" media is an effective introduction to the impact of cyberspace structures and institutions on our current media environment.
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on February 13, 2012
I had to purchase this book for my masters in communication studies. There are about 5-10 main points in this book that should be told to a class as "Levinson said this"..... Beyond these main points 80% of what is written down is an idiots guide to Wiki, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, and blogging, or Levinson talking about his personal experiences from being semi-famous. There's not a lot of meat and potatoes here. I wish I could just write the main points down in this review so you don't have to waste 50$ for your class too.....I think that's what I'm most sour about. When you spend 50$ you expect more content....so maybe I'm a disgruntled college student, but I feel like some of you purchasing this are in the same boat...I will say this though, the points when actually made, are useful for understanding electronic man/digital man. I'll give this credit where credits due.
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on October 28, 2014
I bought this book a few years back for a college class and forgot to review it. To this day it's one of the few books that still sits on my desk. I really enjoy reading it every now and then despite having read it multiple times already.
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on April 19, 2012
The author of this book continually says, "new, new media" all throughout the book. It is incredibly annoying and seems to have been a ploy to get the word count up. Additionally, the contents of the book are not informative for anyone that has the most rudimentary knowledge of social media. Unless you are buying this for someone who has never gotten online before, don't do it.
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on November 16, 2009
Paul Levinson is a foremost authority on media and communications, and his most recent book, New New Media, contributes significantly to that reputation. New New Media is a comprehensive introduction and users' guide to what is known as "web 2.0," the multiple forms of electronic interaction that did not exist in our culture only a few years ago. Levinson explores how these technologies are supplanting our attention and engagement, and therefore transforming our society.
This is the missing textbook to the course that everyone is taking. In it Levinson not only enumerates the various classes of new new media and their relationships with older forms, such as newspaper to blog or television to YouTube, he also, through means of germane examples from the contemporary political and social sphere, illustrates the good, the bad, and the ugly of each of these new forms, making it an excellent primer for thoughtful engagement with the unfolding culture.
Levinson's intellectual pedigree makes him ideally suited to render opinion on the range of new communication platforms like Wikipedia, MySpace, Second Life, and Twitter. His expertise as a scholar of media captures the essence of this new new milieu. Similar to McLuhan in the sixties, Levinson aims his (digital) camera at the present moment to quadrangulate the future not from the past, but from the present. New New Media demarcates a whole new class of communication media, which transform both time and space:
"Here in our 21st century, all new new media are both space-binding and time-binding, due to the speed (across space) and retrievability (across time) of any information conveyed on the Web."

While Levinson continues to contribute to the field of Media Ecology with this new work (he is Chair of the Department of Communications and Media Studies at Fordham University), New New Media is less scholarly interpretation and more a mash-up of reportage and travelogue. Levinson's narrative functions as "the antennae of society," capturing the transitory inputs in our movement from consumer to participatory culture, while fully understanding that the hidden ground of how we are communicating with one another represents the part we cannot see of our own unfolding.
He demonstrates that while the medium may still be the message, in new new media, the messenger is the medium. The social aspect of the media experience is placed at the forefront of our interactions with new new media and Levinson observes that the speed of participation is also heightened in an era when "anyone reading a blog can start a blog nearly instantly."
New New Media speaks of Levinson's own participation with these forms. He is both a blogger and podcaster, and there is no doubt that he intends to extend his new book through the very tools that he describes:

"I expect that New New Media and its updates will be available not only on printed paper but in various forms on the Web..."

In this way, Levinson aims to understand not just the qualities that define a medium as "new new," but also the transformative effects that our contemporary communications have on culture and society, and the forms of that culture, our media, like books.

New New Media serves both as a compendium to the present age of communication media and also as a record of how we first engaged with these "open forms". Everyone knows someone who is openly critical of new new media, perhaps without understanding how these emergent forms exist to compliment our new technologies and modes of interaction. If there is a Luddite on your gift-giving list, New New Media would be an excellent choice to help them seem less like a Connecticut Yankee at a Star Trek convention, and more like a citizen of this day and age.

New New Media
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This book was required reading for a class I took at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in their Communications Media and Instructional Technologies PhD program. I enjoyed the way the book briefly described the evolution of media and gave many specific examples of how the different types of media continue to work together even as technology changes. This book is short and easy to read which is a delightful break from the theory-heavy text books that one often encounters in higher level college courses. It is also an excellent way to make sure that all of the students in a class have the same background information on digital media. With younger students joining the world of communication after many of today's New New Media have become the norm, this book will help to give that much needed background information that shows the big picture of how media technologies have and do evolve and how technology contributes to the speed and effectiveness of all types of communication media.
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on January 17, 2016
This book reads like a narrative account of George Bush using the Internet for the first time. If you've never used the Internet before this is a good informative book to get you up to speed. If you've ever used a computer in your life this book is going to feel very trivial.
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on September 10, 2012
The late Paul Fussell wrote "there is no more assiduous class-climber in America than the college professor." In the electronic age (or as the author would put it, the age of new new media), class-climbing means grabbing at celebrity. When these publicity-grabs are practiced by the Kim Kardashians of the world, they are annoying. But there are qualities to admire--the energetic vapidity, the amazing money-making, and the sexy look. However, when it's a professor practicing the pub-grab, I feel embarrassed for my profession. We're supposed to be better than that. And Levinson's book is NOT better than that. If New New Media were a car, it would be the one Rodney Dangerfield drove in Caddyshack, complete with the blowhard horn. And it would have not one but multiple bumper stickers telling us that his son went to Harvard. (As his book tells us multiple times that his son went to Harvard. I know that Levinson does not teach at Harvard; why do I need to know that his son goes to school there?) There are the endless--and I mean "are you kidding me?" endless--self-glosses that refer to the author's prestige, e.g., "Ask Lev," in which readers may ask presumably anything of the author-oracle. (Hey Lev, what base defense do you play against the 9ers in a 21 formation offense? . . . Hey Lev, coq au vin with the '95 Ridge Geyserville, good pairing? Ugh!). Sad part is, it's a decent book. Would be even better if the subject were media rather than "Lev." I've never met this guy. No doubt, he's educated many people. He's clearly smart. But I doubt he gets invited back to very many dinner parties. He won't get invited back to my bookshelf.
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on September 14, 2015
Not my favorite! The whole "New New Media" thing is redundant. I found the book overly wordy and bombastic, bla, bla, bla, rap it up please!
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